Geranium Pour Monsieur, Editions Frederic Malle.
Now for some luxury! I picked up a sample of ‘Geranium Pour Monsieur,’ at Parfumarija in Dublin. This niche perfume is part of the Frederic Malle collection and created by perfumer Dominique Ropian.
I sprayed this sample on my arm at 2.30pm on a balmy Saturday then headed out for the day with my notebook. The fragrance opened with the most beautiful clean mint, floral ozone and sweet green accord. Underneath there is even more naturalness which enhances the first impressions. Because of it’s name 'Geranium,' I asked myself, “Will this smell the same as the buoyant geraniums in full bloom on my window sills? The Test maybe? Well at first impressions, this perfume doesn't smell like real geraniums. And I’m sceptically about it, but interested nonetheless. Would I even want to smell like my widow boxes really?
After 20 mins and a deep inhalation from my well fragranced arm, my eyes
water. The mint note is crisp and the perfume really grabs my attention. The peppermint note combines with the mint and I wonder if this perfume can peak any further in it's intensity. I’m left wondering,if that's as good as it gets?
The mints then soften and a white floral note is revealed, this is where the perfume really settles on the skin.
I did not experience this perfume as very diffusive to begin with, maybe a downside but the industry would describe this as ‘staying close to the skin.’ I agree and for me it is more intimate this way. At this point I’m recalling a handmade natural soap that I once smelled (I learned later this is interesting because the perfumer did spent time working in a soap factory and may have brought this soapy quality into the fragrance unconsciously). It is not an aldehydic soapiness however in the way Chanel no.5 is. It's natural and pleasant.
Next, I start to see a silver colour as I smell and then realise I’m sensing a metallic quality. What a surprise! I think initially of iris but the mint continues to diffuse throughout . And a rosey quality comes after 40 minutes, I instantly remember, ‘The Geranium’. It hits!
From my own work as a perfumer I know that rose and geranium complement each other incredibly well in perfume, so my nose always makes this link between rose and geranium. (Rhodinol with Geranium in this case). It takes a little while to reveal the Geranium heart but the window sill test worked. I remembered the Geraniums on my window sill and remember the silvery smooth quality when I touch the leaves. The leaves are soft and strong/flexible, the white flowers so silky soft and delicate.
How ingenius! The perfume did trigger this memory for me, maybe not so spontaneously but it does capture the feeling of physical touch of the petals and leaves through the use of scent.
I then get a shot of beautiful wood, the sandalwood which adds a sophistication which supports the natural element of the fragrance. The lightness moves into something more heavy. There aren’t really any words for this experience which has to be 'experienced'. My perfume teacher’s hobby horse was, “ There are no words for scent.....”
Not sure what that does for the integrity of my perfume review then! But in this case I agree, It should be experienced in order to be fully appreciated.
After 3 hours I feel that I’m right in the middle of the perfume enjoying all of the ingredients simultaneously. I’ve seen what it has to offer with a glimpse into the next chapter. This perfume is just like a movie, it’s moving and changing, developing in plot and revealing itself. Like a piece of music would do too.
So at the centre I also get anise and some spices too although I’m not sure what they are yet. The mint continues as a constant on my skin, still very strong up to 4 hours in. Interesting because it is technically a top note, a citrus or fruity top note would not be lingering around at this point.
The perfume sweetens as it settles into the benzoins and the musks. I wonder if I am smelling vanilla. Which I always link to labdanum and styrax resinoid in my olfactory memory. (These ingredients normally make up part of an amber accord btw). I realise the benzoin and musks were always there but I’m more aware of them much later as the others accords fade away.
By 11pm all I can get is a hint of musk and the persistent mint. Also my own natural ‘man-scent’ which smells nothing like a Frederic Malle smile emoticon This drydown lasts for about 12 hours. Then like a great perfume, it’s gone!
It leaves me wanting more and excited to spray it again the next day. Suitable for this changeable demi-season weather we are experiencing. Fresh and warm.
This perfumer has created a beautiful interpretation of a ‘Geranium’. It’s different, it’s a signature piece. It’s chic and true artistry!
You can purchase Geranium Pour Monsieur, Editions Frederic Malle for a very special occasion and very special man from www.fredericmalle.com for the tidy sum of €120 for 50ml.
I have been holding off rating this fragrance for quite a while - until 4th wearing to be exact.
The reason being that this scent is somewhat "shapeless" and chameleon-like. As I was sampling it I have found myself thinking that I am just not able to grasp what the scent is about... A highly elusive smell for sure. Mint and geranium are both present and the latter becomes more prominent into the mid and base of the scent, yet the entire composition is so ephemeral that I found it very difficult to enjoy. But again, not because it smells poor, but simply because it is so confusing and plays hide and seek throughout its moderate lifespan of about 6-8 hours. In the end, I am giving this thumbs up but only barely, with a final rating of 3/5. Personally I much prefer Heeley's Menthe Fraiche in the mint game because to me that one is a much more successful rendition of the theme.
05th August, 2015 (last edited: 10th August, 2015)
Mint, geranium, a soapy white musk, woods, and a tiny bit of anise. (Not the overdose of anise that absolutely ruins Lolita Lempicka Au Masculin for me.) Sounds weird, but it works great for any occasion. And unlike many other mint-dominant fragrances, it lasts all day.
A quality creation like many Frederic Malle scents, and worth the price - especially if you like mint as much as I do.
Quite aromatic opening dominated by minty emanations and strengthened by a clear geranium – this opening is impressive if you are into mint notes, and this is a upscale, non-toothpastey mint. This mint ensemble is also cleaner and more sophisticated than the mint note in… say… Roadster by Cartier. I myself am not into mint dominant accords, but this one I enjoy, probably because its strong tinge of geranium makes the mint more palatable to me. The opening has impressive longevity.
The mints and the geranium stay on the surface of the heart notes – and its background shifts and mitigates a little. I think what is happening with the heart is that the clove oil takes over in the background making the accord a little less ethereal and a little more earth-bound than the opening. This middle accord is subtle, sophisticated, and it serves as an appropriate continuation of the opening. I had been apprehensive of the clove oil but was happy to find it quite discrete and nicely performing.
The mint is pretty much gone by the basenotes… the geranium tenuously hangs on for the remainder, offering a subtle airiness to a discrete but solid white musk / sandalwood base which hints at a quality grey amber (“quality” is extremely important with grey amber). The pyramid says incense, and I smelled the incense at the first testing, but since it has apparently melded into the accord and I haven’t been able to separate it out. I don’t miss the incense because this light accord is solid, enjoyable, and completely fulfilling without it.
“Geranium Pour Monsieur” could just as easily been named “Geranium for Madame” because the temper of GPM is gender neutral as far as I’m concerned… neither sensual nor sexy. GPM is not dramatic or compelling, but rather it is buoyant, unisex, and deliciously wearable.
At my first testing of GPM I thought it was a pleasant but not very interesting scent – with that, I guess I was being unreasonably dismissive. Later with a couple of full wearings, its quiet uniqueness and almost spiritually-uplifting tenor grew on me: Instead of my oft-used comment: “Great scent but I don’t want to smell like this,” with Geranium Pour Monsieur my comment is “Subtly captivating scent and I DO wish to smell like this.”
This is a perfect scent. I'm serious, it really is. I tend to like them big and bombastic, loud and proud, my presence announced with angels, trumpets, fanfare, and of course groupies. But not this one.
There's a time for elegance, for professionalism, for just being the best guy in the room. Are you polished? Are you ready? Are you awesome? And most importantly, do you know it so deeply that you don't give any of it a second thought? Then you might actually be James Bond. For the rest of us, when we manage to attain that balance of competence and confidence, of practice and preparation, we want to smell like this.
It works everywhere, all the time. Office-friendly? Yep. Courtroom-approved? Yep. Date-ready? Yep. Sponge-worthy, too, I'd bet. Get some.